Friday night, Hubby and I went to the California Shakespeare Festival for the first time. It's a BEAUTIFUL outdoor theater in Orinda, in the East Bay. Very woodsy and lovely. We'd been meaning to go for a while, and finally went to see my friend play both Antipholeses (the Antipholi?) is "The Comedy of Errors."
This is a fella with whom I was in "Hamlet" 20 years ago. The last time I saw him was 1999, when he did "Metamorphoses" in Berkeley. He lives with his family in Chicago, so, needless to say, we don't see each other often, lol!
The show was AMAZING! There were 7 actors in the cast, and they were all brilliant. 3 of them, including my pal, have a strong background in Clown work, and that was abundantly on display in this show. The Hubs and I were so amazed and inspired by it all.
We almost didn't get to meet up afterwards, as we'd taken the train and there was only one shuttle going from the theater back to the station. Luckily, he called me and we were able to meet up in Oakland at a cafe, where we bought him dinner and chatted until after midnight, when the staff turned off the lights and kicked us out. :)
This man is an absolute mensch. Even more inspirational as a human being than he is as a performer/teacher, and that is really saying something. I'm so glad we got to spend time with him while he was here (the show closed Sunday).
And it got me thinking: I sometimes get depressed because my life feels so small. I'll see one of my heroes onscreen or (if I'm very lucky) onstage, and get down because it is highly unlikely that I will ever have the chance even to meet them, let alone work with them.
And then I meet up with a friend. I get to see them do their thing, and to spend time with them, and I am reminded how very lucky I am to have so many good, loving, kind, talented people in my life. People who inspire me, and who also believe in me. People whom I can go 20 years without seeing face-to-face, but then contact and immediately fall right back into our rhythm with, as if no time has passed at all.
And there are MANY folks who fit that bill!
A couple of weeks ago, when I was preparing to teach that acting class, I messaged another such friend. I asked him if he had time to give me a quick rundown of a class we both used to teach, but I haven't done in a very long time. He took the time to give me a full description, despite having worked all day and then having to drive for over 2 hours.
Another friend and mentor once spent over an hour on the phone with me describing his work as a director with patients in a mental healthcare facility. It was after midnight where he was, and he'd already put in a full day.
Another friend runs a Shakespeare festival AND is raising 2 young twin boys (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), but always, ALWAYS has time for my (often trite and silly) questions.
How did I get so lucky? And how is it that I sometimes forget these things? (OK, yes, to be fair, regarding the second one, I often forget my own name, so...)
I am so very, truly blessed. And I need to remind myself of that. Particularly during that time of the month, when I'm feeling misanthropic and downright homicidal.
And remind myself, as well, that maybe, just maybe, there is a reason why they are still in my life. That maybe they get something from our friendship, as well. Otherwise, why would they hang around for so long, eh?
Talk about a change in perspective!